Back in the ’90s, Columbia House famously had the biggest scam going in the mail. Subscribers could get 13 CDs for just a penny, but if they didn’t get that little card back to them immediately, every month, they’d overpay for a record Columbia House executives picked for them. Columbia House may have died with the MP3, but its underhanded tactics have not only thrived, but mutated, into what are increasingly called “dark patterns.” So what are they?
It sounds like a bad thriller you buy at the airport, but dark patterns are simply intentional designs in the way websites are built that manipulate you and your wallet in various ways. This can be as simple as asking for forgiveness rather than permission when enrolling you in an email list or as underhanded as hiding
Article source: http://uproxx.com/technology/dark-patterns-web-design-rip-off/